The growth in hybrid car sales is a welcome sign that a major change in the automobile industry is afoot. The shift to transport infrastructure that is not based on the archaic complexity of an internal combustion engine, with its hundreds of moving parts and compressed fuel explosions, has been long put off by an automobile industry, happy with status quo, partnered with oil cartels with the power to price their product as if it were in endless supply. But with smack-in-the-face-reality fuel prices last summer, the collapse of the so-called “Big Three” over the winter, and the simultaneous heralding assertion of alternative energy technologies (Daimler AG bought a 10% stake in Tesla Motors last month!), the fallout of western economic near-collapse has changed everything we’ve known to be sacrosanct; Leonard Lopate even waxed nostalgic about the “Death of the Car Song” yesterday on National Public Radio’s local station, WNYC.
On my coveted “Bane of Americana” list just behind my cell phone company's automated customer support option to “Press '3' To Stay On Hold” (not kidding!), is the so-called “Passenger Pick-Up System” at airport terminals. Instead of realizing a purported orderly and safe system, by forcing cars to circuit the entire loop road in an attempt to perfectly intercept with arriving passengers, airports are perpetuating a half-brained scheme reminiscent of Disney World's Mad Tea Party ride.
It's Always Six O'Clock At Terminal Eight!
This extended holiday weekend is much anticipated personally because it signifies the return to a recreational activity that thrills me more so than any other. By this time most years the weather has warmed up enough to prevent any further delay in getting my cheap, little sailboat ready “for the season”. While there is very strong merit in, and a touch of previous discussion on, the return to sailing vessels for the purposes of international commercial shipping, this Memorial Day weekend I rather turn to the merits sailing has as a sustainable, low-impact, and surprisingly cheap way of having fun and experiencing the splendor of nature first hand. Won't you please take a few moments to consider how a traditional form of waterborne transportatio